Employment Law

  • Anti-bullying Quarterly Report Released

    The Fair Work Commission's quarterly report on the new anti-bullying legislation has been released showing that from 1  January to 31 March 2014, 151 applications were made, of which:

  • No Employee Advocates for Performance Management Meetings

    Employees are not entitled to bring advocates to meetings with their employers to discuss performance or behavioural issues.

    In February 2014 in The Victorian Association for the Teaching of English Inc v Debra de Laps the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission found that a refusal by the employer to allow the employee an advocate at a counselling meeting did not constitute an element of procedural fairness so as to justify a claim for unfair dismissal.

  • Swans issues highlight value of employment contracts

    Reports today of the Sydney Swans declaring a contracted assistant coach off-limits has a legal base for the club to defends its position.

  • Changes to the Fair Work Act

    Some changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) came into effect on 1 January 2013 of which the key ones are: 

    1. The time limit for lodging unfair dismissal applications and general protections dismissal applications will be 21 days for employees. Previously, the time limit for unfair dismissal applications was 14 days and for general protections dismissal applications was 60 days;

    2. The Commission will be given further powers to dismiss unfair dismissal applications and to make cost orders against parties; and

  • Harmonisation of Work, Health and Safety Laws

    New national Work Health and Safety laws commenced on 1 January 2012 although Victoria has not yet adopted it but is expected to do so with modifications. All employers must be aware of these significant changes and ensure that all policies and procedures comply with the new laws and that duty holders are aware of their individual obligations.

    Key changes include:

  • End Of Year Functions – Advice To Employers

    With Christmas and end of year parties commencing, it is time to remind employees about their obligations concerning sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying and the expectations of them as to their behaviour at social functions.

    Employers liable for acts of employees

  • TV Shows are not exempt from regular employment laws

    Aitken Partners' head of employment law, Stephen Curtain, was interviewed on Today Tonight discussing discrimination laws with regards to television shows.


    Today Tonight’s summary makes interesting reading and viewing »

  • Changes to Minimum Award Rates

    From 1 July 2011 the following changes take place: 
    • Minimum award rates increased by 3.4%
    • National minimum wage increased to $589.30 per week ($15.51 per hour)
  • Settlement Payment Taxable as ETP

    In a recent hearing at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal it was held that a payment received by a taxpayer from his former employer as a settlement to legal proceedings was assessable as an employment termination payment (ETP) and not a tax-free capital payment for personal injury.

    The taxpayer had claimed age discrimination and breach of contract among other things and the settlement had involved a deed of release with the former employer agreeing to make a settlement payment of $395,000.

  • Private Investigators a part of the process

    Media reports today indicate that a private investigator has been hired to perform surveillance and background checks on Kristy Fraser-Kirk who has launched law suit against David Jones and its former CEO Mark McInnes.

    While to many this seems an extreme step it is not an uncommon part of the legal process, especially when the law suit is in the region of the $37m being sought.